echinacea

Echinacea is a Native American genus that has won its way into gardens around the world. The Cheyenne called it "mohk ta" and used it for sore mouth and gums. The Crow called it "Like Comb" and used it for colds, toothache and colic. Today most Americans know it as Purple Coneflower.

Echinacea has also become a household word because of its medicinal qualities. The roots, leaves, flowers and seeds of E. angustifolia, E. pallada and E. purpurea are most commonly used in the herbal trade for their immune supporting qualities. Generally roots can be harvested when they are 2-3 years old. The pollen and seeds are also extremely beneficial for bees, and the seeds are food for the birds.

Coneflowers prefer full sun, average to lean soil and regular water for the first year. They are quite drought tolerant once established. These beauties to bloom in June through September. You can deadhead the first bloom for a smaller second bloom. They are fantastic cut flowers and they attract butterflies. Echinacea combine beautifully with Agastache, grasses, Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker), and Perovskia (Russian Sage).

Echinacea
Butterflies love Echinacea

Classically, Echinacea come in pale pink, dark pink and white. Within the last few decades breeders have hybridized Echinacea into a wonderful array of colors, sizes and fragrances. Now you can find coneflowers in practically every shade of the rainbow: pinks, reds, oranges, yellows and even green. With all the new varieties out there it can be tough to figure out which one will thrive in your garden. Generally our soils in the Portland area are heavy clay, and drainage is mediocre. Echinacea varieties with thinner, heavily veined leaves, such as 'Tiki Torch' or 'Flame Thrower' are usually more sensitive to drainage.

New introductions continue to bring us more petal and cone colors, sturdier growth habits and fluffy double blooms. Whether you choose a fancy cultivar or one of the good old fashioned ones, Echinacea is sure to bring you gardening joy. They are great cut flowers and the seed heads are gorgeous in the fall and winter when kissed by the frost. They are fun to combine with ornamental grasses, sedums and Rudbeckia. You can even eat the new leaves in salads to give it a zing that will truly make you tongue tingle.

Here are a few varieties that are more available at Portland Nursery. Since there are now so many varieties available, we often do not have them all at the same time.

Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'

Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'

Propagated by seed, hence flowers are various of shades red, orange and yellow.

Plant multiples to get the best spectrum of color.

Stronger than tissue culture varieties.

Grows 24-30" tall 18-24"wide.

Zones 4-10.

Echinacea 'Green Jewel'

Echinacea 'Green Jewel'

Eye-catching pale green petals surround a darker green cone

Fragrant blooms June to October

Grows 20-24" tall by 12-18" wide.

Zones 3-9.

Echinacea 'Hot Papaya'

Echinacea 'Hot Papaya'

Gorgeous double blooms in burnt orange June to October

Part of the Cone-fections series bred for stocky plants and sturdy stems.

Grows 2-4' tall by 18-24" wide.

Requires sharp drainage.

Zones 4-9.

Echinacea 'Sombrero'

Echinacea 'Sombrero' Series

A popular and reliable series introduced in 2013

Compact, well branched plants growing 18-24" tall and wide.

Flowers in shades of red, coral, orange, yellow and the best red June to October

Hardy in zones 4-9.

Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'

Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'

A tried and true variety with rosey pink, horizontal petals.

Grows 28-40" tall by 18" wide.

1998 Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year.

This variety may reseed under the right conditions.

Zones 3-9.

Echinacea 'Pica Bella'

Echinacea purpurea 'Pica Bella'

Unusual thin, curved pink petals

Grows 2-3' tall and wide.

Zones 4-9.

Echinacea 'Green Jewel'

Echinacea purpurea 'PowWow' series

A compact, flower-iferous series growing 16-20" tall by 16" wide.

Blooms of white or rich pink June-October

Great in containers or the front of a boarder.

Zones 4-9.

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' (in a flowerbed)

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan'

One of the older white flowered varieties reaching 2-3' tall by 12-24" wide

Honey-scented blooms June-October.

Zones 3-9.

Find the Best Perennials for your Garden

We have a wonderful selection of perennials year round, but if you are looking for a specific perennial we will have the best selection when it is in bloom around town. Note: Native plant pages will take you into the Native Plant section.

Perennials

Actaea: Bugbane

Natives

Native Actaea: Bugbane

Perennials

Agastache: Hyssop

Perennials

Anemone: Windflower

Perennials

Aquilegia: Columbine

Natives

Native Aquilegia: Columbine

Perennials

Artemisia

Natives

Asarum: Wild Ginger

Natives

Asclepias: Milkweed

Perennials

Aster

Perennials

Astilbe: False Spirea

groundcovers

Bellium: Miniature Daisy

Perennials

Bergenia: Pigsqueak

Perennials

Brunnera: Bugloss

Perennials

Canna Lily

Natives

Camassia: Camas

Perennials

Chrysanthemum

Perennials

Coreopsis: Tickweed

Perennials

Corydalis

Perennials

Cyclamen

Bulbs

Dahlia

Bulbs

Delosperma: Ice Plant

Perennials

Delphinium: Larkspur

Perennials

Dianthus: Carnation

Perennials

Dicentra: Bleeding Heart

Natives

Dodecatheon: Shooting Star

Perennials

Echinacea: Coneflower

Perennials

Epimedium

Natives

Erigeron: Fleabane

Natives

Eriophyllum: Oregon Sunshine

groundcovers

Erodium: Alpine Geranium

Perennials

Eupatorium: Joe-Pye Weed

Perennials

Euphorbia: Spurge

Natives

Fragaria: Wild Strawberry

Bulbs

Fritillaria

Perennials

Hardy Fuchsia

Perennials

Hardy Geranium

Perennials

Geum: Avens

Perennials

Helenium: Sneezeweed

Perennials

Hellebore

Perennials

Hellebore: Gold Collection

Perennials

Hellebore: Winter Jewel

Perennials

Heuchera: Coral Bells

Perennials

Hosta: Plantain Lily

Perennials

Iberis: Candytuft

Bulbs

Iris

Natives

Native Iris

Perennials

Kniphofia: Red Hot Poker

groundcovers

Leptinella

Perennials

Leucanthemum: Shasta Daisy

Natives

Lewisia: Bitterroot

Perennials

Ligularia

Perennials

Monarda: Bee Balm

groundcovers

Moss

groundcovers

Muehlenbeckia

Bulbs

Narcissus: Daffodil

Perennials

Paeonia: Peony

Perennials

Papaver: Poppy

Perennials

Parahebe

Natives

Penstemon: Beard Tongue

Perennials

Perovskia: Russian Sage

groundcovers

Pratia

Perennials

Primula: Primrose

Perennials

Rudbeckia: Black-eyed Susan

Perennials

Salvia

Perennials

Santolina: Lavender Cotton

Perennials

Sedum

Perennials

Evergreen Sedum

Natives

Native Sedum: Stonecrop

Perennials

Sempervivum: Hen & Chicks

Natives

Sidalcea: Checker Mallow

Natives

Sisyrinchium

Blue-eyed Grass
Natives

Solidago: Goldenrod

Natives

Synthyris: Native Figwort

Perennials

Top Shade Perennials

Perennials

Top Sun Perennials

Perennials

Tricyrtis: Toad Lily

Natives

Trillium: Wake Robin

Bulbs

Tulip

Natives

Vancouveria: Inside-out Flower

groundcovers

Vinca: Periwinkle

Perennials

Viola: Violet

Natives

Native Viola: Violet

Perennials

Zantedeschia: Calla Lily